Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On Sabbatarianism: My New Position

I have recently embraced the position that the New Testament supports the position that there is to be a New Covenant Sabbath rest on Sunday. My reasoning for this new position of mine is the following theological argument:

In my estimation the best theological argument in favor of new covenant sabbath observance on Sunday is Mark 2:23-28 in conjunction with a whole host of passages where Christians are meeting on the first day of the week which John calls the Lord's day in Revelation 1:10. In Mark 2:23-28 it is important to notice that Jesus does not abolish the sabbath as he does with other Mosaic covenant laws in Mark 7:19, rather Jesus corrects the Pharisee's application of the Sabbath. If Jesus wanted to abolish the Sabbath then this would be place to expect such an abolition, but instead we have Christ using the Mosaic Law to justify his understanding of the Sabbath in verses 25-26. When Jesus says that the Sabbath is made for man, but that man was not made for the sabbath this suggests that the sabbath was made for the benefit of man and that man was not made for benefit of the sabbath. In other words, Jesus is saying that when the sabbath was made at creation it was made for the benefit of man. Jesus then is teaching that an essential attribute of mankind is that they benefit from a sabbath rest. Because Jesus is teaching that a sabbath rest is essentially beneficial for mankind then he positively establishes a type of sabbath observance for the new covenant. In verse 28 Jesus says that he is Lord of the Sabbath and the present tense has a gnomic usage here. The fact that it is a timeless truth that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath moral obligation then it is reasonable to think that Sabbath observance is a timeless moral truth. Therefore, Jesus is teaching in the New Testament that there still is a sabbath rest. On the basis of Colossians 2:16 we know that the Mosaic observance on Saturday has been abolished. So then the question before us then is which days is the most plausible day for a sabbath rest on the basis of the New Testament evidence? The best candidate for a sabbath rest then is the first day of the week (Sunday) because this was the day when Chris resurrected and when the new covenant church gathered for the preaching of the word, collecting of offering, and administering the sacraments (John 20:1; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10). For these reasons then I think we have good reason for thinking that there is some type of Sabbath observance on the Lord's Day (Sunday).